Deloitte’s Smart Factory to end manufacturing skills gap

Michael Gretczko, of the Smart Factory Believers programme at Deloitte, tells us about using STEM education to close the manufacturing skills gap

Deloitte will bring science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to US schools, through its Smart Factory Believers programme. Deloitte will work alongside AWS, Ballmer Group, Elenco Electronics, National Math & Science Initiative (NMSI), Siemens Digital Industries Software and Wichita State University (WSU) to create high-quality STEM education programmes for students in diverse and underserved communities.

Deloitte's Smart Factory tackles workforce disparities

According to a “Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute” report, this skills gap may leave 2.4m manufacturing jobs unfilled, between 2018 and 2028. 

Deloitte’s research shows that:

  • Only 10% of the manufacturing workforce identifies as a minority
  • The National Science Foundation reports that 18% of Black and 20% of Hispanic workforces have careers in a STEM field. 

Deloitte's The Smart Factory Believers programme is a ‘pathways of opportunity to create an equitable workforce of the future’. The programme will help to reduce systemic barriers that prevent students from accessing STEM learning and support teachers in their roles. 

The Believers programme will provide:

  • Smart Rover kits, which students will build, code and operate
  • Teacher training to better support the curriculum
  • An understanding of the Python coding language
  • Maths and science materials, teacher lesson plans, student guides, video modules and all the technology accessories required for the projects.

Deloitte is closing the manufacturing skills Gap with STEM

“Some of the greatest challenges in the manufacturing industry today include availability and retention of the workforce – our research estimates that the current skills gap may leave 2.4m manufacturing jobs unfilled between 2018 – 2028 – and lack of representation from employees with diverse backgrounds with only 10% of the manufacturing workforce identifying as a minority,” said Michael Gretczko, Smart Factory Believers programme Executive Sponsor and Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. 

“As manufacturers continue to incorporate more sophisticated digital technologies into their operations, we can expect that the need for highly skilled talent will continue to escalate. At the same time, we recognise that there is a huge opportunity to foster interest in science, technology, maths and engineering (STEM) subjects, particularly in communities in the U.S. that historically have not had access to robust STEM curricula and resources, and that diverse teams can provide new perspectives to help solve complex problems more efficiently. 

“The Smart Factory Believers programme aims to help open doors to students of all backgrounds in underserved communities to foster interest in STEM, particularly in smart manufacturing and robotics, to help build a diverse next generation of the manufacturing workforce and ignite new passion and pathways for students in areas they may not have yet explored.”


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